I did not want to have too much dilemma while crossing the border so I bought a bus ticket from Luang Prabang Laos to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Khounsavan Guesthouse is offering the fare for 330,000 KIP. I went to town first to check prices and they were more expensive which surprised me so I bought my ticket from the guesthouse instead.
It was indicated that it will be a sitting bus which will take 20 hours! I had longer hours of travel in Vietnam before so 20 hours did not bother me at all. The words “sitting bus” did. I asked around and there is no sleeper bus. How is that possible? I didn’t have any choice so I bravely booked it anyway.
I was picked up from my guesthouse at 5PM. The bus did not leave until 7PM and guess what?! This is a sleeper bus for me! I expected the worst and I’m glad I got a nice surprise. This is way more comfortable than the sitting bus I imagined.
I read my eBook for an hour but it was a bumpy road so I stopped reading and took valum around 8:30PM so I could sleep. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep within 30 minutes. I woke up around 6:30AM! Wow! We were dropped off a little after 7AM in Houay Xay bus station.
I ate breakfast, changed my KIP money to Baht and waited for about 2 hours. We took a bus at 9AM to get our passport exit stamp. It was probably less than 30 minutes ride. After we got our passport stamped there was a lady who was waiting for us. She went with us to the bus crossing the Friendship Bridge to get to Chiang Khong border of Thailand.
Everything was fast but to my disappointment, the Thai immigration officer told me that as a Philippines passport holder, I can only get 15 days free visa if I cross the border by land. I went to Bangkok in 2012 and got 30 days free visa. He said it’s only at the airport so this screwed up my 3 weeks Thailand trip plans. 😦
We were picked up by a van to get to Chiang Mai which took 5 hours. I was sleeping most of the time because of that valum! 🙂
Finally we arrived in the city center. I walked about 1 kilometer to Kikie’s Guesthouse. I checked in for 150 Baht a night. I freshened up and went to Thapae night market.
Shelley is a girl from England that I met in Luang Prabang, Laos. She flew to Chiang Mai, Thailand on the same day I arrived by bus so we met for dinner.
It has been another long and tiring journey for me but I’m glad to be in the Kingdom of Thailand.